Making Money is the 36th Terry Pratchett novel in the Discworld series, published in the UK on 20 September 2007. It is the second novel to feature Moist von Lipwig, and involves the Ankh-Morpork mint - specifically the introduction of paper money to the city, as Ankh-Morpork had hitherto not used banknotes. The continuing work of Adora Belle Dearheart (Lipwig's fiancée when this novel is set) with the Golem Trust is another feature of the novel.
Moist von Lipwig is bored with his job as the Postmaster General of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, which is running smoothly without any problems, so the Patrician tries to convince him to take over the Royal Bank and Royal Mint. Moist, content with his new lifestyle, refuses. However, when the current chairwoman, Topsy Lavish, dies, she leaves 50% of the shares in the bank to her dog, Mr Fusspot (who already owns 1% of the bank, giving him a majority and making him chairman) - and she leaves the dog to Moist. She also makes sure that the city's Assassins' Guild will fulfill a contract on Moist if anything happens to the dog or if he does not do as her last will commands.
Faced with no alternative, Moist tries to take over the bank and in doing so finds out that people do not trust banks much, that the production of money runs slowly and at a loss, and that people now use stamps (which Moist introduced in Going Postal) as currency rather than coins. His ambitious changes include making money that is not backed by gold but by the city itself. Unfortunately, neither the chief cashier (Mr Bent, rumoured to be a vampire but actually something much worse) nor the Lavish family are too happy with him and try to dispose of him. Cosmo Lavish tries to go one step further - he is, with the help of his servant, Heretofore, (who steals Vetinari's personal effects for a large fee), attempting to replace Vetinari by taking on his identity - with little success. However all the while, the reappearance of a character from von Lipwig's past adds more pressure to his unfortunate scenario.
In the meantime, Moist's fiancée, Adora Belle Dearheart, is working with the Golem Trust to uncover golems from the ancient civilization of Um. She manages to bring them to Ankh-Morpork, and to everyone's surprise the "four golden golems" turn out to be "four thousand golems" (due to a translation error) and so the city is at risk of being at war with other cities who might find an army of golems threatening. Moist works out not to control the golems and orders them to bury themselves outside the city, except for a few hundred to power Clacks Towers and golem horses for the mail coaches. However there is the potential for them to be unearthed should large tasks arrive. This is a reference to the Terracotta Army unearthed near Xi'an, China.
Moist realises that these extremely valuable golems are a much better foundation for the new currency than gold and thus introduces the golem-based currency. Eventually, an anonymous clacks message goes out to the leaders of other cities, informing them that the golems obey the orders of any person dressed in gold and speaking the language of Um as this was considered priestly garb.This makes them unsuitable for using in warfare.
At the end of the novel, Lord Vetinari considers the advancing age and out-of-date methods of the current Chief Tax Collector, and suggests that on his retirement a new name to take on the vacancy might present itself.
Ideas and themes
According to Pratchett, Making Money is both fantasy and non-fantasy, as money is a fantasy within the "real world", as "we've agreed that these numbers of conceptual things like dollars have a value." Pratchett argues that an apple is more valuable that gold because you can eat the apple to survive, plant its seeds and grow more apples, whereas gold does nothing.
At the bank, research is being carried out with an analogue computer strongly remincient of the MONIAC Computer. This machine is strangely entangled with the discworld reality.
Pratchett plays with issues of crime and what constitutes real crime throughout the novel. The novel explores white-collar crime in the bankers' profiting off and stealing from their shareholders who might just be people who have invested their life savings and lost everything, as in the case of the Roundworld banking collapses and various financial district scams. These people do no jail time and are "pillars of the community". On the other hand, Moist and Heretofore steal from people who are hoping to profit off others - in fact they scam the scammers, yet their non-violent crimes are capital offenses. Moist is forever stealing Drumknott's pencils, which confirms in Vetinari's mind that Moist's criminal mind is still in evidence and that he is not completely reformed.
In the novel, the citizens of Ankh-Morpork are protesting against the employment of the Golems. Throughout Pratchett's novels, the Golems and the fact that they work for free 24/7 (almost) has its Roundworld equivalent in western multinational companies outsourcing their work, jobs and factories to the lowest paying third world countries and in immigrants coming to western countries and "taking the jobs of the citizens there," even though the jobs taken are usually such that nobody would really want to do them anyway (like working a treadmill).
Throughout the novel there are parallels with the board game of Monopoly. Moist emphasizes that the paper money he is making is worth only what we value it at (using the wealth of the city as a benchmark) much like Monopoly money which has a value only in the game. The original Monopoly pieces were taken from a girls' charm bracelet and over the years pieces have included a pair of boots (Cosmo Lavish stole a pair from Vetenari's butler). There is a little dog in the novel, Mr. Fusspot. Moist revitalizes his top hat. Moist's female golem, Gladys, does the ironing. Mr. Jenkins considers a battleship as a motif for the bills he's designing. Adora Belle gives Moist a golem horse, which he rides (the horse and rider figure). Other golem horses are discovered in the underground 'tomb'. Dibbler asks Moist for a loan to buy a wheelbarrow. Taken singly one might think that this is simply a coincidence but the disparate choice of items and Pratchett's style in other instances of this type suggest that it was entirely intentional. At the end of the novel, Moist is being considered for the position of tax collector and in his next novel, he acquires a railway.
Another recurring theme is the idea of "coming out" or revealing one's identity, very apropos in the Roundworld these days. Angua is revealed to be the werewolf (at least to Moist von Lipwig - whether he tells others is unknown). Mr. Bent is revealed to be a clown, not a werewolf as is suspected. Cosmo Lavish is trying, unsuccessfully, to come out as Vetinari. Finally, Gladys the golem is coming out as female.
This novel was written just prior to the major financial crisis of 2008, but there were enough warnings that the banks were in a mess, that Pratchett could not be considered prescient, merely very astute in his characterization of the corruption, the shady characters and the arrogant belief that the bankers knew everything and that the average person 'did not understand' the situation. Unfortunately, in Roundworld there was no Vetinari to bring the bankers to heel, instead they got off unscathed, not one went to jail and, in fact, they were rewarded for their incompetence and unmitigated self serving gall by being bailed out by major governments around the world, most significantly the British and American governments and the respective taxpayers of those countries, while many people lost ALL their money and have never gotten it back. The Canadian banking system, with its tighter regulatory controls, was one of the few that remained relatively unaffected and did not require a bailout.
In this book the century on the Discworld has changed, and is now the Century of the Anchovy. This had been noted in the epilogue of the previous Moist von Lipwig novel, Going Postal.
The Koom Valley Business referred to at the beginning is a reminder of the events of the previous novel Thud! where war between the Dwarfs and Trolls was prevented by the actions of Sam Vimes.
Adora Belle Dearheart and the Golem Trust return.
Like Going Postal, the previous Moist von Lipwig book, Making Money is separated into actual chapters, unique in the Pratchett Discworld series. At the beginning of each chapter is a short summary of what the chapter is about. This is a similar approach to that of Victorian morality tales, giving the reader a taste of what is to come in the chapter. Unlike Going Postal, Making Money actually has a chapter eight, the number that is not spoken in Discworld. Whether this is because Pratchett got sloppy or because the impact of superstitions of the number eight has diminished in the new century of the Anchovy is never explained.
Dave's Pin Emporium has now become Dave's Stamp and Pin Emporium or Exchange. Clearly stamps have become a much more profitable venture than pins.
Page 9 - (Doubleday edition) - Like the first Moist von Lipwig novel, Going Postal, this novel is divided into chapters with a short summary of what the chapter is about at the beginning. This is a similar approach to Victorian morality tales, giving the reader a taste of what is to come. Unlike, Going Postal, however, there is a chapter eight. The references in the Chapter one heading include: Golem with a blue dress, a reference to the 1964 song Devil with a Blue Dress On by Shorty Long and William "Mickey" Stevenson, first performed by Long and released as a single in 1964. It went nowhere until it was redone in 1966 by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. A "blue dress" is also a metaphor for an illusion, appropriate for a golem who is being a woman when golems evidently have no gender. Another heading, Crime and Punishment is the title of a novel by Dostoevsky which involved theft and guilt about the theft. No kindness to bears may be a play on the popular children's stuffed toy "Care Bears" or as is more likely a reference to bear markets in the stock exchange. Given the subject of money, The hanging man could be a reference to the bearish reversal pattern, found in an uptrend of price charts of financial assets and is also a reminder that Moist, in the previous novel was hanged before being resurrected and reborn.
Page 11 - Pratchett describes Moist von Lipwig climbing the outside of the post office. Edificeering is a popular activity in both Roundworld and Discworld. Members of the Assassins Guild train in climbing buildings to gain access to their targets. No one talks about the dangers of pigeons however.
Page 13 - the image of Moist swinging back on his rope and kicking out the glass to gain access to the building is a common one throughout movies and TV shows from James Bond, to Bourne, to the Avengers.
Page 15 - The name of the protagonist, Moist von Lipwig, is very appropriate for a con man, which Moist was when he was known as Albert Spangler in "a previous life" in the novel Going Postal. 'Lip Wig' is slang for a 'moustache' a common addition to a disguise. 'Moist' suggests 'slippery', also a common con man trait. When Moist is climbing up the side of the Post Office he is startled by pigeons flapping; a classic suspense trick used in many movies and in fact a standard in many James Bond movies; License to Kill, For Your Eyes Only and The LIving Daylights to name a few. Similarly, when Moist swings through the window into his office building, he is following in the long standing TV and tradition of villains and heroes escaping by launching themselves through a plate of glass to freedom; everyone from James Bond to Chuck.
Page 16 - "The only thing he (Moist) hadn't done was hornswoggle, and that was only because he hadn't found out to." Hornswoggle means to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax, all of which Moist has in fact done in Going Postal . The term originated in the American Southwest about 1820.
Page 18 - The line, "we encouraged mongooses to breed in the posting boxes to keep down the snakes... to reduce the number of toads" is a reference to the countless Roundworld blunders where animals were introduced to control a pest and became another pest instead; mongooses in Hawaii to control rats, cane toads in Australia, snakehead fish, etc.
Page 19 - 'If it's about the cabbage-flavoured stamp glue-' Moist began.' This is a running gag that has made its way through several books beginning with Going Postal; the most recent reference being to Vimes' statement in Thud!: '"Remember the cabbage-scented stamp last month?...They actually caught fire if you put too many of them together!"'. Cabbages are the main crop of Sto Plain and Moist and his post office commemorated this with a range of stamps, one of which was made entirely of cabbage and tended to explode.
Page 19 - The stamp called the lovers which requires a large magnifying glass to see the alleged impropriety pokes fun at the puritanical zealots of the Roundworld who look for sexual references in everything, often going to ridiculous extremes like playing records backwards to prove their point that the object of their assault is "smut". Moist adds, our artist didn't krealize what he was sketching! He doesn't know much about agriculture! He thought the young couple were sowing seeds!" Clearly Pratchett is playing with the concept of sowing seeds of wild oats in this double entendre.
Page 20 - When offered the option of the position at the bank or staying at the post office, Moist expects to find a huge pit behind the door in Vetinari's office like in Going Postal. Instead there is only a door with a room behind it. This is like the Lady and the Tiger analogy, which required that you guess what is going to be behind the mystery door - winning the lady or being eaten by the tiger.
Page 22 - Vetinari says, "There is more than one way of racking a man". The rack was a bedlike open frame suspended above the ground that was used as a medieval torture device. The victim’s ankles and wrists were secured by ropes that passed around axles near the head and the foot of the rack. When the axles were turned slowly by poles inserted into sockets, the victim’s hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow joints would be dislocated. Whether racked face up or face down, the result was the same.
Page 23 - Lord Vetinari says that "You have to consider the psychology of the individual" which is a reference to PG Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster series of books; an expression that Jeeves uses regularly.
Page 23 - Re the letter from the campaign for Equal Heights stating that the Post Office is not employing enough dwarfs. Pratchett is poking fun at all the equal opportunity programs to ensure that minorities, women, etc are given the same chance for employment and advancement as are white males.
Page 25 - Tiddles, the Post Office cat bears a striking resemblance to Jess, Postman Pat's black and white cat in the British TV show of the same name.
Page 27 - The Tanty Bugle with its 'orrible crime' is a take off on such 'true crime' magazines and periodicals as The Police Gazette and The Newgate Calendar, the latter subtitled The Malefactors' Bloody Register, which was a popular work of improving literature in the 18th and 19th centuries. Originally a monthly bulletin of executions, produced by the Keeper of Newgate Prison in London, the Calendar's title was appropriated by other publishers, who put out biographical chapbooks about notorious criminals such as Sawney Bean, Dick Turpin, John Wilkes and Moll Cutpurse. As Pratchett points out, these tabloids provide a vicarious thrill for those normal law abiding citizens who lead dull boring little lives.
Page 30 - Moist's thoughts, "Why do they always build banks to look like temples" is a reference to the fact that banks and churches, in phallic splendor, have both through the ages always aimed to be the highest building around, accentuating their importance, power and wealth while those who support and fund them often live in poverty.
Page 32 - "and ursury," said Moist. To which Vetinari replies, "That would be cruelty to bears." Ursa is the Latin word for bear whereas usury means the illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest. Vetinari points out that the churches don't seem to mind usury much any more but in earlier times Christians could not lend money at a high rate. This led to the rise of the Jewish banking class who, since they were not Christians, were not constrained by the church's prohibition.
Page 34 - "The whole situation with golems was heating up once more,what with theguilds complaining about them taking jobs" This sentiment is also expressed in regard to immigrants in the Roundworld - even though in fact immigrants generally take the jobs that the citizens of a country refuse to take.
Page 35 - Mr. Mavolio Bent is the head cashier. His name resonates with "Malvolio" the puritanical, fun-spoiling, pompous, humourless snob in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, a name which suggests evil or bad (mal - bad in French) and Bent suggests that he is crooked.
Page 38 and onward - Moist von Lipwig and Mr. Bent debate the meaning of the gold standard. Pratchett clearly presents his views through Moist von Lipwig that gold is an artificial basis for a financial system. This forms the core of the novel.
Page 40 - Dead Men's sheds reminds the reader of "Dead Men's handles in the previous Moist von Lipwig novel, Going Postal. However, combined with "the Men of the Sheds" in the following line, and Pratchett's other references to Monty Python's Flying Circus, this is likely a shoutout to the Python skit about "Arthur two sheds Jackson". It is also a reference to the Men's Shed movement which originated in Australia around the 1980s as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of (initially) older men. Men's sheds or community sheds are non-profit local organisations that provide a space for craftwork and social interaction.
Page 40 - Linishing is the process of using grinding or belt sanding techniques to improve the flatness of a surface.
Page 41 - Moist asks Mr. Shady, "So how do you get paid?" to which Mr. Shady replies, "This is a mint, sir." As the conversation progresses it is clear that skimming or stealing some of the coins from the production process is common to all the workers if they want a pay cheque. It is not surprising that the mint loses money, in sharp contrast to the security procedures in a Roundworld mint (in spite of the fact that security has "quite a big (shed)".
Page 42 - Mr. Shady explains that it costs more to make a coin, particularly one of small denomination, than it is worth and that they have to work more overtime to make enough money to pay their overtime, which in turn leads to more overtime, etc. This resonates with bureaucracies throughout the Roundworld, particularly in government where there have been examples of a new tax actually bringing in no revenue because of the cost of creating the infrastructure needed to collect and administer the tax. In regard to money, the cost of producing a penny vs its actual value is one reason that the penny was removed from circulation in Canada. the US nickel costs about 8 cents to produce but has a value of only 5 cents and their penny costs almost twice as much to produce as it is worth.
Page 42 - The Elim, the smallest coin of all, traditionally made by widows "and of course it's handy to drop in the charity box". In the Bible, Jesus's parable of the widow's mite, in which the smallest coin of all, donated by a poor widow, has more value than all the gold ostentatiously placed in there by the Pharisees, simply because it is all she has to give.
Page 43 - The description of the piece workers making money from home, where all the family members participate, resonates with the weaving and spinning industry in the early days of the industrial revolution in England.
Page 44 - Moist asks Shady if they have a problem with clipping and sweating. These are two methods of getting metal off coins made of precious metals like gold and silver. Clipping means to take small undetectable pieces of metal off the edges of a coin and sweating is done by putting a number of coins in a bag and shaking them until they produce dust which is collected. Both the dust and the clippings are melted into a lump of gold or silver. The other methods mentioned by Shady, painting, plating, plugging and re-casting involve respectively, painting a non-precious metal to look like gold or silver, covering a non-precious metal with a thin plate of precious metal, cutting a hole in the centre of the coin and then filling it in (plugging) with a non-precious metal and pounding it to fill in the hole (hence the expression 'not worth a plugged nickel') and recasting the coin with an additive such as copper so that it looks the same but has less gold or silver in it. In fact, modern coins could be said to be 'recast' in that there is little or no precious metal in them and they are cast from a mix of non-precious metals or of non-precious and some precious metal mixed in.
The line, "Food gets you through times of no gold better than gold gets you through times of no food is a reworking of Shelton and Mavrides' hippy maxim, used in their comic books about the alternative lifestyle trio The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, which originally states:- "Dope gets you through times of no money better than money gets you through times of no dope." And of course one of the greatest strains of marijuana of all times according to HIgh Times magazine was Acapulco Gold.
Page 47 - Topsy Lavish naturally has a maiden name of Turvy - Topsy Turvy meaning upside down or in total confusion, much like the bank she manages. She us anything but 'confused' however, being a shrewd judge of human character and very astute.
Page 51 - Topsy Lavish tells Moist, "it was all quite acceptable. I use to take tea with his wife once a month to sort out his schedule.....a mistress ws expected to be a woman of some accomplsiemt in those days." This resonates with previous eras in the Roundworld where it was acceptable for a wealthy man to take a mistress and set her up in her own home. , Agnès Sorel, Diane de Poitiers, Barbara Villiers, Nell Gwyn and Madame de Pompadour, all mistresses to royalty come to mind.
Page 51 - "People set their watches by the arrival of the Genua express. They use to set their calendars!" In Roundworld, as in Discworld, it is the invention of travel at a speed which makes knowing the time important that led to standard time instead of local time. You can't have every town on its own time when catching a train depends on knowing what time the train itself is using for its departures. Similarly with the Genua Express which is clearly not travelling at a speed where the journey takes weeks or months like an old horse and cart or walking on foot would do.
Page 52 - Moist says, "...if you want to sell the sausage, you have to know how to sell the sizzle." Pratchett uses this line in many of his books, particularly those involving Cut Me Own Throat (or C.M.O.T) Dibbler the sausage in a bun salesman. The origin slogan was "don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle," which was coined by Elmer Wheeler in the mid-1920s. It urged salespeople to focus on the experience around a product being sold rather than simply on the object itself. It means appealing to the senses and emotions of the buyer with the assumption that this is what motivates most people to purchase.
Page 54 onwards - The Lavishes are very reminiscent of the Borgias or the Medicis with the same extended family, devious infighting, desire for political power and political connections everywhere and Pratchett is likely using both families as a model. The most famous Borgia dynasty includes Cesare and Lucrezia "Lucci" Borgia who are mirrored in Making Money by Cosmo Lavish and Pucci Lavish. Cosimo de Medici was the first of the Medici to become ruler (Patrician?) of Florence. Both families were well know for using poison for disposing of their enemies, much like Cosmo Lavish plans. In addition, Pucci is the name of another influential family from Florence who were political allies of the Medici family, particularly Cosimo. Tarantella Lavish clearly draws her name from the large spider the tarantula which gives the impression of being a vicious devourer of anything in its way. Her name would also imply tarantella, the dance that takes its name from the spider.
Page 55 - Bent explains to Moist that he has "Nichtlachen-Keinwortz Syndrome" which deprives him of a sense of humour. Nichtlachen Keinwortz translated from German means roughly "Do not laugh at no words". This foreshadows his previous life as a clown.
Page 56 - Bent explains that his condition has been proven by prenology. Prenology is the widely discreditied study of head size and contour of the skull to predict personality traits. It was developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796. The discipline was influential in the 19th century, especially from about 1810 until 1840. It was used widely to support racist views, the argument being that head shape and size could be used to rank the various races. Not surprisingly, Europeans came out on top.
Page 59 - Mr. Bent asks Moist, "Isn't the fornication wonderful?" Pratchett is playing with the less common usage of fornication (an architectural term for an arch) while Moist is clearly thinking of the common sexual usage. Both derive from the Latin Fornix - an arch.
Page 60 - According to Pratchett, the Glooper is directly taken from Roundworld's Phillips Economics Computer, a bizarre but effective water-powered machine devised in 1949, but which was so good at reproducing an economic cycle that the last of the Phillips machines were still going strong in economics schools in the early 1990s, - when orthodox computer power had finally caught up with hydrology, and could finally replicate what the machines had been doing for nearly fifty years. There was a series of early computers called MANIAC, but these used conventional vacuum-tube technology- MANIAC only one letter away from MONIAC (Money). In addition, a protoype nuclear reactor, one of the first to be built in the world, was called the GLEEP (Graphic Low Energy Experimental Pile) by its British inventors. Terry Pratchett worked for the British nuclear power agency, a successor to the company that built the GLEEP, and cannot have been unaware of this.
Page 60 - The Glooper has been invented by Hubert Turvy with the assistance of an Igor. Hubert is describe as a 'proper Hubert' which should be a good euphemism for a 'real geek' if it isn't already. "Hubert" also resonates with "Herbert" which is British slang for a foolish man or scruffy child. Hubert has all the traits of a mad scientist' the maniacal laugh, the apparently crazy schemes that turn out to be not so crazy after all, the loyal assistant who is ready to desert him when the mob arrives, etc.
Page 64 - When Hubert demonstrates the Glooper for Moist's benefit, the machine shows exactly what happens in Reagonomics "trickle down" economics as jobs become scarce, people have less disposable income, etc, the spiral continuing downward.
Page 64 - Hubert mentions that "hemlines tend to rise in times of national crisis". This is the opposite of what supposedly happens in Roundworld and which is referred to as "Hemline Economics". Supposedly when people are more confident in the economy they are more daring and hence spend money on the latest fashions. When the economic climate is pessimistic they dress conservatively and hemlines lower. There are many arguments that this theory is at best an oversimplification and at worse, meaningless.
Page 66 - The name of the town of "Big Cabbage" is a take off on New York, the "Big Apple". Its cabbage themed events, giant Cabbage, etc are a take off on all those towns which try to create some tourist attraction to turn their boring town into a destination - particularly popular in small town Canada with Vegreville and its giant Ukrainian Easter Egg, Sudbury with its giant nickel, Duncan with the world's largest hockey stick, WaWa with the world's largest Canada goose, Colborne with the world's largest apple, etc etc.
Page 68 - The reference book of the important people of Ankh-Morpork "Whom's Whom" is a take off on the Roundworld reference "Who's Who". Pratchett gives it a grammatical spin - confusing "whom" and "who" is a very common error - so the reader is left wondering which is the grammatically correct title.
Page 68 - The Lavishes were old money which "meant that it had been made so long ago that the black deeds that had originally filled its coffers were now historically irrelevant. In the Roundworld there are numerous families who made their fortunes by rum running and bootlegging during prohibition such as the Kennedys and Bronfmanns and throughout history most important and well established families have their roots in some illegal trade or dubious business dealings or other.
Page 69 - "it was this newfangled carbon paper that was the trouble. He got copies of everything, and they took up time." This Discworld phenomenon has its parallel in the Roundworld where emails being carbon copied to everyone as a way of showing the boss that you are busy, are the bane of real productivity in the business world and government in particular.
Page 71 - The blind letter office where the staff try to translate the scribbled addresses on the envelopes seems an ideal place for Vetinari with his skill at crosswords and complex clues. Not surprisingly, while he waits for Moist, he successfully translates, "Duzbun Hopsit pfarmerrsc" to K. Whistler, Baker, 3 Pigsty Hill because she "does buns opposite a pharmacy".
Page 72 - Vetinari says, "I didn't become ruler of Ankh-Morpork by understanding the city." This is a reference to David Nobbs' series of books "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin" and "the Return of Reginald Perrin" in which CJ says, "I didn't get where I am today by ....." Pratchett uses this reference regularly in his novels.
Page 74 - Drumknott says to Vetinari, "It would appear that the leopard does change his shorts, sir." Pratchett uses the line that "The leopard doesn't change its shorts" throughout his novels and many times in this one. It is a malapropism play on the old saying "the leopard doesn't change its spots" (people don't reform or change) as well as the idea of 'having to change one's shorts" after having an accident in them from being scared.
Page 75 - When Topsy Lavish dies, Death says to her, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF ONE'S POSTERITY"
She replies that the "Lavishes can kiss my bum" Pratchett is playing on 'posterity' (future) and 'posterior' (buttocks), here when Topsy confuses the words.
Page 78 -79 - Moist thinking about an escape plan to avoid the lawyers, resonates with countless spy or detective novels and movies.
Page 79 - "Sergeant Angua was holding a squeaky rubber bone, which she occasionally, in an absent -minded way, squeaked." Most people believe that Nobby Nobbs is the werewolf on the Watch. This is a hint that he is not.
Page 81 - Topsy Lavish leaving her money and the chairmanship of the bank to her dog is surprisingly not far fetched. Emperor Caligula made his horse a senator of Rome. American millionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley left her Maltese dog, Trouble, $12M in her will.
Page 82 - Sergeant Angua says, "Corporal Nobbs, that was a pertinent remark!" She means of course that it was impertinent (ie rude) but she is correct on the other front as well since how long the dog will live with a family out to do it in is very germane to the issue.
Page 84 - Moist says, "I'm just going to see a man about a dog." In fact, Moist is going to talk to Vetinari about Mr. Fusspot but Pratchett is playing with the expression's real meaning which is to go to do something illegal, unmentionable or inappropriate, such as use the washroom, buy a drink or place a bet. In this case it is a double pun given that he is taking the dog for a walk which usually means taking the dog to go pee. The earliest confirmed publication of the expression is the 1866 Dion Boucicault play Flying Scud in which a character knowingly breezes past a difficult situation saying, "Excuse me Mr. Quail, I can't stop; I've got to see a man about a dog." Time magazine observed that the phrase was the play's "claim to fame". In Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Brown Ale commonly gained the nickname of "Dog" from the frequent use of the phrase to describe going to the pub.
Page 88 - "Lord Vetinari has a black coach. Other people also have a black coach. Therefore, not everyone in a black coach is Lord Vetinari. It was an important philosophical insight that Moist, to his regret, had forgotten in the heat of the moment." Pratchett is playing with the philosophical and mathematical concept of the hypothetical syllogism which contains two premises and a conclusion. It goes as follows:
If A, then B
If B, then C
Therefore if A, then C.
Page 91 - Cosmo Lavish rips a cheque in half and gives the unsigned half to Moist, the rest to be collected when he agrees to sell Mr. Fusspot to Cosmo. Variations on this ploy (usually involving a ripped bill) have been used in many novels and movies, including Pulp Fiction and The Whole Ten Yards. Contrary to popular Roundworld belief that once a bill is torn in half it is useless, the US Treasury actually has a whole department, the Mutilated Currency Division, that deals with torn money.
Page 95 - The Undertaking is clearly a reference to London's subway system, The Tube.
Page 95 - Vetinari says to Moist, "The city bleeds.... and you are the clot I need." a play on clotting the blood to stop the bleeding but also 'clot' which is slang for 'a fool'.
Page 98 - endless array of forms, most like Moist never actually reading all the fine print.
Page 98 - Sacharissa Cripslock says to Moist, "So you are a dog's body now?" The term dogsbody, dog's body, or less commonly dog robber ioriginated in the British Royal Navy as a colloquialism for a junior officer or midshipman. The Royal Navy used dried peas boiled in a bag (pease pudding) as one of their staple foods circa the early 19th century. Sailors nicknamed this item "dog's body". In the early 20th century, junior officers and midshipmen who performed jobs that more senior officers did not want to do began to be called "dogsbodies". The term became more common in non-naval usage c. 1930, referring to people who were stuck with rough menial drudgery type work. In this case, Pratchett is playing with the term since Moist is in charge of Mr. Fusspot so is a dog's body to a dog.
Page 99 - Cripslock refers to Moist as 'a dog and his master' which has a number of Roundworld connections and references. Firstly, there is an Aesop fable in which the dog that was of great service to its master when young, is beaten when he is old because he can no longer do the same service. Secondly there is a connection to the old advertisement with the HMV dog Nipper and the line "His Master's Voice" which was a standard on all early HMV, then EMI, then RCA recordings (as the original company was sold on). Commander Vimes, another powerful figure in Ankh-Morpork, has been referred to as Vetinari's attack dog.
Page 100 - Moist's discussion with Sacharissa Cripslock about the value of gold, or lack of value in Moist's view, has parallels in Roundworld and is a central theme throughout the book. Prior to WW I, most countries based their financial system on the Gold Standard but they moved away from this because the USA and European countries wanted to print enough money to finance their war effort. Most currency systems are now based on the Flat currency system whereby the currency is simply backed by the government that issues it. This is what Moist is proposing when he suggests that the worth of Ankh-Morpork itself should be the basis of the currency's value.
Page 104 - When Moist and his chef are discussing meals, the chef lists all the things he cooks, all of which are offal and by way of the pun never stated, 'awful'. Pratchett used this joke in The Truth as well.
Page 105 - When his chef explains that he is allergic to 'garlic', the word not the substance, Pratchett is drawing on Monty Python type material - the salesman who reacts in a silly way when customers ask for a mattress, is one such sketch.
Pge 105 - When Moist accidentally says 'garlic' his chef says "nom d'une bouilloire? pourquoi est-ce que je suis hardiment ri sous cape à part les dieux". A rough translation of this from the French (ie: Quirmian) would be "in the name of a kettle? why am I boldly chuckle except under the cloak of the gods". French swear words differ from English ones in that the English language generally focuses on sexual or bodily references while the French focus on religious references. So this is likely Pratchett playing with the use of illogical French words to poke fun at French swearing. It is very similar to the kind of common words that Tintin uses to swear (since his audience includes children) in that graphic novel series. It also is reminiscent of the kind of silly phrases one learns in French language class (in mine it was "Si on allez au bord du lac" (what about going to the lake shore) and "Ou est la plume de ma tante" (where is my aunt's pen).
Page 108 - Lady Deirdre Waggon's Prudent Advice for Young Women is patterned after the works of such authors as Emily Post and Isabella Beeton.
Page 109 - " Food gets you through times of no gold better than gold gets you through times of no food "- this is a clever re-stating of Shelton and Mavrides' hippy maxim, used in their comic books about the alternative lifestyle trio The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, which originally states:- Dope gets you through times of no money better than money gets you through times of no dope. One of the most superior forms of dope is known as Acapulco Gold.
Page 110 - The words written on Von Lipwig's draft banknote are "Ad Urbem Pertinet" which is Latin for "It Belongs to the City".
Page 110 - This is followed in smaller letters with: "promitto fore ut possessori postulanti nummum unum solvem an apte satisfaciam" = "I promise that I will pay one penny (coin) to the owner who asks for it or make amends". This is a reference to the inscription on English banknotes, beneath the words Bank of England, which read "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of" followed by the denomination of the note. Originally this meant the note would be exchanged by the bank for the equivalent value in gold; since Britain abandoned the gold standard the phrase is entirely decorative.
Page 111 - Cosmo thinks, "If you want to understand a man, walk a mile in his shoes." The admonition to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means before judging someone, you must understand his experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. The full idiom is: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. In effect, it is a reminder to practice empathy. While long credited as a Native American aphorism, replacing the word shoes with moccasins, the saying almost certainly is derived from a Mary T. Lathrap poem published in 1895. The original title of the poem was Judge Softly, later titled Walk a Mile in His Moccasins. There are many variations on the phrase such as walk a mile in his, her or my shoes. A plea for empathy is phrased put yourself in my shoes, as well as put yourself in his or her shoes.
Page 112 - The Stygian crystal in Cosmo and Vetinari's signet rings are a reference to Star Wars. Stygian crystals are used in light sabers and to power stealth systems in star ships.
Page 115 - "Bolters in the Maul" is a reference to Pall Mall in London which was named such because it was a place where the game of pall mall was played. The Maul is a wide boulevard in Central Ankh-Morpork connecting Plaza of Broken Moons to the Turnwise Broadway by the Patrician's Palace. The street is home to some of Ankh-Morpork's largest shops, including Crumley's department store and a small, expensive one called Shatta as well as Bolters. Appropriately, Pratchett has played with the word given the nature of malls where people get mauled in the shopping frenzy. A Bolter is a person who deserts an organization or runs away.
"The leopard doesn't change its shorts" is a malapropism play on the old saying "the leopard doesn't change its spots" (people don't reform or change) as well as the idea of 'having to change one's shorts" after having an accident in them from being scared. This line is used throughout Pratchett's novels. In this one, at the end, the leopard does change its shorts.
Page 119 - "where possible Lavishes married distant cousins, but it wasn't uncommon for a few, every generation, to marry outside, in order to avoid the whole 'three thumbs' situation." Rich people consolidate wealth and power by keeping the money and positions that go with that money within their own elite select circle. This was no more evident in the royal houses of Europe where cousins married cousins. The inevitable result of inbreeding was the high incidents of hemophilia among the offspring and in the case of the last Spanish Hapsburg monarch Charles II of Spain, an inability to procreate and a very pronounced underbite (the Hapsburg jaw). In ancient Egypt, the practice was for brothers to marry sisters - the reasons being the same.
Page 121 - Cosmo Lavish says, "When I am master of the eyebrow". Vetinari, who Cosmo is trying to become, is master of the raised single eyebrow. In the Roundworld, the greatest living proponent of the Eyebrow Trick was British actor Roger Moore, who made the character of James Bond all his own by strategic use of a single lifted brow to convey a variety of emotional ideas, such as surprise, determination, sophistication and sheer cool, as befits one trained as an Assassin. Many have tied to imitate, but just made themselves look ridiculous rather than suave lady-killers.
Page 123 - "William Pouter's Man with dog It's a painting of Vetinari's. Notice how the eyes follow you around the room." This is a common theme in the Roundworld in paintings - eyes that appear to follow you around the room. The painting itself may be a take off on Leonardo da Vinci's Woman with Ermine although in Discworld, da Vinci is usually associated with Leonard of Quirm. There are plenty of paintings involving men and their faithful hounds in the Roundworld. Pratchett may have been thinking of the famous Australian painter, William Pidgeon (a pouter is a type of pigeon) in his choice of names but that is not confirmed.
Page 127 - The Roundworld "Jack Proust" is an aging comic and the central character The First 100 Years the award winning show written and performed by former clown Geoff Hoyle. So it is appropriate that his counterpart in Discworld owns the Boffo Novelty and Joke shop. In the theatre and entertainment business, Boffo means something outstanding like a good production or performance.
Page 128 - 131 - Tenth Egg Street is a street of small traders, who sell small things in small quantities for small sums on small margins. In a street like this, a business survives by being small-minded: it has to look at the details. The proprietors are men who see more farthings than they do dollars, and indeed are no strangers to half-farthings and even the occasional elim - the ideal location for Moist to launch the dollar note - reasoning that if paper currency took off here, it would be acceptable anywhere. The name, Tenth Egg Street may be a reference to the "Easter Eggs" found in some computer games.
Page 129 - Moist says, "I've made the mail run on time, haven't I" (see reference on page 51). There are a lot of references to running on time which resonates with the old line said about Mussolini, "at least he made the trains run on time", hinting at Moist's future career in Raising Steam in creating the railway network. In fact, the trains were no more on time under the Fascists than under any other government, but Mussolini wanted to make the people believe he was working on their behalf and that a Fascist regime was more efficient so his propaganda machine spread this lie until it became "the Truth". Modern politicians use the same tactic with their public relations officers.
Page 130 - "If he could get the idea of paper money past them then he was home and, if not dry, then at least merely Moist". This is not the first play on von Lipwig's first name and it won't be the last in the von Lipwig series of novels.
Page 131 - "The first cab", said Corporal Nobbs, shaking his head, "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I would not have thought it of a man like him." The standard movie cliche of the bad guys waiting outside the airport, hotel, train station, etc to nab the good guy who gets into the first taxi.
Page 132 - Pratchett follows this up with a play on 'at large' meaning at liberty, escaped from custody or not yet captured which Colon believes refers to the large size of a person.
Page 133 - "the ol' honey trap game." A honey trap is a stratagem in which irresistible bait is used to lure a victim. Usually it is sexual and the victim is filmed by the team in a compromising position with the bait in order to blackmail the victim into giving either money or information.
Page 134 - Gladys' reading material The Ladies' Own Magazine resonates with the Roundworld's Woman's Own Magazine among others.
Page 135 - Bent's comments that there is going to be a run on people closing their accounts is so typical of the type of spin people in public relations and the media put on events because in fact the vast majority of people outside the door want to open accounts while only twenty want to close them. Yet the focus is on the very tiny group yelling the loudest. Pratchett has commented on this in more detail in other novels.
Page 135 - "There are, some like to suggest, an infinite number of universes in order to allow everything that may happen a place to happen in." Prathett is one of the "some" using this idea in his series on "The Long Earth" with Steven Baxter. It also resonates with the mathematical theorem "that an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly on an infinite number of typewriters would create all the works of Shakespeare" which Pratchett uses in many of his Discworld novels (Snuff for example)
Page 139 - the bidding war generated over the dollar bill has many parallels with collectors in the Roundworld where something goes for an auctioned price vastly out of proportion to its practical value, whether it is a stamp, coin, painting or book.
Page 147 - "Every rag-and-bone man and rubbish picker, every dunnikin diver, every gongfermor, every scrap-metal merchant...you worked for Harry King." All these references are to Roundworld trades past and present. Rag and bone men collected unwanted household items and sold them; rags for the linen to be turned into paper, bones to be used for jewelry or knife handles. Rubbish pickers collected salvageable stuff from the rubbish piles and sold it. Dunnies are septic tanks so a dunnikin diver cleaned out the septic tanks of the city. A gongfermor or gongfarmer was someone who collected 'night soil', human excrement to sell for fertilizer or for disposal outside the city. Dog excrement was used in the leather tanning business since it contain enzymes that break down collagen in hides, part of the tanning process called “bating.”.
Page 148 - Harry King says to Moist, 'I only talk to the organ grinder." The common expression is "I want to speak to the organ grinder, not the monkey!" Street organ grinders historically used monkeys to perform tricks and attract interest and money so the reference is to speaking to the person who is in charge, rather than a lackey or representative.
Page 149 - Harry King says to Moist in reference to Mr. Bent, "You want to watch that Bent....There's something funny about him." To which Moist replies, "Odd maybe, but he wouldn't like to be called funny" This is more foreshadowing that Mr. Bent is in fact a former clown.
Page 150 - "Wallace can talk numbers with your monkey," says Harry King to Moist. This hearkens back to King's comment about only talking to the organ grinder but also resonates with Douglas Adams, The Hitch hikers' Guide to the Galaxy where Garkbit at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe says to Zaphod Beeblebrox, "No, no, your monkey has got it right, sir" referring to the fact that Arthur Dent, like all humans has evolved from apes. It also suggests that Harry is casting aspersions on Mr. Bent that Moist's assistant is less evolved than Harry King and Moist. Bent's name being similar to Arthur Dent's is likely a co-incidence.
Page 155 - Mr. Bent says, "You could trust numbers, except perhaps for pi". Pi is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter and is an irrational number, 3.14159.... Pratchett has had fun with 'pi' before in Going Postal with the Post Office Sorting Engine. In that novel, Mr. Groat says about pi, 'Three and a bit, that's the ticket. Only Bloody Stupid Johnson said that was untidy, so he designed a wheel where the pie was exactly three." There's an old mathematical limerick about this issue.
- It's a favorite hobby of mine
- A new value for pi to assign.
- I would set it to three
- 'Cause it's simpler, you see,
- Than three point one four one five nine.
Page 155 - The line, "Bent stood up in one unfolding moment, like a jack-in-the-box." foreshadows his re-emergence as a clown at the climax of the book.
Page 157 - Bent says to Cosmo Lavish, " I do not trust those who laugh to easily. The heart of a fool is in the house of mirth." More hints that Bent's past is as a clown not as a vampire.
Page 165 - "a huge Ping Dynasty vase from HungHung" is clearly a play on China's Ming Dynasty with a sexual reference thrown in as a place name.
Page 166 - The line, "If we build it, wilt thou comest?" is a play on the line "If you build it he will come" from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner which is often misquoted as "if you build it they will come".
Page 167 - Igor says, "I always keep an ear to the ground". Igors are know for their surgical skills, not surprising given then often learned their skills for mad scientists bent on creating the latest monster. Spare ears and arms are common among Igors so an ear to the ground, meaning to be well informed about events and trends, has the added literal meaning of an ear attached to a part of Igor that is in contact with the ground such as his foot.
Page 168 - Igor says, "Give them a pitchfork and they think they own the bloody plathe, thur." This is a reference to the villagers attacking Dr Frankenstein and his monster with pitchforks and flaming torches, a reference Pratchett uses regularly in connection to the Igors. This line is reinforce on the following page when Pratchett says that the Igors were always elsewhere when "the fiery torch eshit the windmill."
Page 169 - Owlswick Jenkins threatens Moist with suicide by eating Uba Yellow paint. The ingredients of many artist paints were and are deadly poisonous. Cadmium, which revolutionized painting allowing the brilliant yellows, oranges and reds in the Impressionist painters works, is known to be toxic and is linked to an increased risk for cancer as well as a number of kidney and liver afflictions. Arsenic was used in a coveted emerald green hue known as Scheele’s Green. Lead was a common ingredient in paint and licking one's paint brush like van Gogh did, could cause lead poisoning and all the mental instability associated with it. Moist reinforces this on page 170 when he says, "just don't lick your brush."
Page 170 - Agatean White.another deadly poisonous Discworld paint is evidently used to make skin whiter. Moist says that, 'That's where we get the phrase 'drop-dead gorgeous.'" A common misconception is that 'Drop dead gorgeous' was Victorian in origin, due to the Victorian habit of using mercury and arsenic in their beauty products and thus killing the person using them. In fact 'drop-dead' was used as American slang only since the 1960s and 'drop-dead gorgeous' was first applied to Michele Pfeiffer in a Times article in 1985.
Page 171- The reference to the barber surgeons' knock shave and a haircut) and the play on Tonsorial and Tonsils are interesting in that Pratchett explains both these puns in detail, gilding the lily so to speak, rather than let the reader figure them out for themselves. Both are such obvious puns and jokes and Pratchett leaves other far more complex ones unexplained in his novels that it seems Pratchett is either not at the top of his game in these passages or perhaps was fed up with readers writing mystified by his jokes and felt the need to explain some. Pratchett uses "Shave and a haircut, no legs" instead of the standard "Shave and a haircut, two bits (or 2 pence as in Soul Music). Likely he has created a variation because barbers were surgeons and amputation of limbs was a very real possibility both in Discworld and in Roundworld when barber surgeons got involved. Furthermore it is an Igor requiring the barber surgeon's knock.
Page 171 - Igor and Moist engage in some very clever word play based on the barber surgeon's knock "shave and a haircut". Moist asks if Igor can change what Owlswick looks like. "More than you could poththibly imagine", Igor replies. This is another reference to the Igors being renown for replacing missing limbs and recreating spare parts for humans. Moist's replies that he was thinking more along the lines of a shave and a haircut, a reference back to to the knock, to which Igor says that Igors can perform "tonthorial operationth". Moist's response is "No, no, don't touch his throat, please." Moist is confusing tonsorial which refers to shaves and haircuts with tonsils, the two nodes at the back of the throat which form part of the lymph system. Tonsorial derives from the Latin verb tondēre, meaning "to shear, clip or crop. Like many people, Moist has had his tonsils removed (when he was ten) to which Igor replies, "would you like some more?" - another reference to the Igors' barber surgeon skills.
Page 172 - "that god with the three-pronged fork" in the Roundworld is Poseidon or Neptune, god of the sea.
Page 173 - "the artist formerly known as Owlswick" is a clear reference to "the artist formerly known as Prince".
Page 173 - The bowel lacerating nut concoction is obviously granola.
Page 176 - Veterari says to Moist when told his head is going to be on the new dollar bill, "A good place for a head, considering all the places a head might be put." This is a reference to the various ways leaders have been executed - head on a platter for John the Baptist, heads in baskets under the guillotine in the French Revolution, heads on pike poles outside castle walls and city gates during the middle ages and by Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) in Romania, to name a few.
Page 176 - "the hemp fandango" - another reminder to Moist's first hanging in Going Postal when Vetinari refers to the hemp fandango and the sisal two step. "The sisal two step" and the "hemp fandango" are euphemisms for being hanged (dancing on the end of the hangman's noose). Sisal and hemp are both rope materials used in olden days and the two step and fandago are both dances - the dance being the body jerking in its death throes. This reference to dancing is also reinforced in the following reference.
Page 176 - "like some big black spider on a bunch of bananas" - tarantulas, a subtle reminder of the Lavish family (Tarantella Lavish) and the dance the tarantella, The hemp fandango as well as the spider and the fly reference are used often in Pratchett's novels.
Page 178 - the single ornate black glove worn over the stygian ring to prevent the sun from shining on it, resonates with Michael Jackson's single sequined white glove.
Page 179 - 180 - When Moist brings in the printing press from Teemer and Spools, Mr. Bent says, "Mr. Lipwig. You are turning the bank into a circus!" He follows this up with "And whoever told you the ringmaster runs the circus? You are very much mistake, sir!" This sequence is further forshadowing the fact that Mr. Bent is not a vampire but a clown, hence his knowledge and experience of the circus.
Page 180 - In the scene where Igor is removing Clamp's memory and replacing it with a turnip, Clamp says, that it "tastes like strawberries". Strawberries are used as a sexual reference for a prostitute (someone who sells her 'strawberry' in order to buy drugs but the reference is common throughout literature, movies and TV. Strawberries are key in regard to Captain Queeg in the 1954 movie, The Caine Mutiny. The line itself originates in a 1960 song by Miriam Makeba, "love tastes like strawberries" and has been covered by several other artists of the time from her husband Hugh Masekela' jazz trumpet version, to the soulful sound of Jerry Butler to Nana Mouskouri's folk. There was even a 60s country and western version. In film, the line was used in the 2002 movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, as well as in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Wrecked.
Page 183 - Bent walks with a jerky flamingo step, has large oversized feet and his feet rise and fall as if he is walking on some shifting staircase. These traits clearly hint at the fact that his dark secret is that he is a clown. Pratchett is likely drawing on John Cleese's Silly Walk sketch as well as the antics of circus clowns in this reference. Similarly, the diary entry that Moist discovers says that some funny men appeared at the bank asking for Mr. Bent and Harry King says to Moist that there is something funny about him. What the reader doesn't know at the time is that both lines are intended to be taken literally as clowns are funny.
Page 187 - If in fact, Pratchett is drawing on Monty Pythons for Bent's walk it is likely that the 'Shed' reference in the next scene has its roots in their "Arthur 2 sheds Jackson" skit. He has clearly picked 'sheds' for a reason and his emphasis on the workers being allowed to keep them suggests as such.
Page 187 - The rest of the scene resonates with typical union management negotiations in the last centuries in particular in regard to technological change. This debate was at the core of the Luddite movement in the an early 19th-century, railing against the ways that mechanized manufactures and their unskilled laborers undermined the skilled craftsmen of the day - in their case mechanized weaving machines instead of hand looms. Mr. Bent's comments reflect the workers view, "They've been doing things the same way here for hundreds of years! And they are craftsmen!" Moist's reply sums up the factory owners' view, "So were the people who used to make knives out of flint." In short, the Industrial Revolution was sweeping away the old trades in an inevitable tide. Railways and later on cars replaced horse and buggy so blacksmiths were no longer needed to shoe horses and wheelwrights were not needed to build carriage wheels. Those craftsmen took employment in other trades where their skill set was useful, What is generally not know about the Luddites is that they were not opposed to change per se (even though that is what the term Luddite has become associated with today). They wanted some control over the way change was implemented in order to protect their livelihoods. So it that respect, Moist is much more in tune with the workers than the cotton mill owners in the British Midlands were as he is offering the men of the sheds a new improved role making commemorative coins where their skills will still be utilized and also the right to keep their sheds.
Page 189 - Mr. Bent' "jerky" walk is describes as "His feet rising and falling, as though he was walking on some kind of shifting staircase," See notes on Page 183 - another illusion to John Cleese's silly walk sketch as well as circus clowns.
Page 190 - The Cabinet of Curiosity in the Unseen University is likely a parallel to the Cabinets of Curiosities found in many museums which are modeled on the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a natural history by Albertus Seba. The back cover of the book has a plate of a giant squid and the wizards ask whether Moist or Adora have seen one in the hallways, as if it has escaped from the Cabinet. Such strange and wonderful creatures are a common feature of such collections.
Page 194 - Pratchett plays with numbers throughout his novels. The number 8 being the obvious one (the number that is never spoken). In this novel he uses 14.14, 14 hours and 14 seconds, etc. 14.14 is the square root of 200 rounded to two decimal places. 14 is considered to be a number associated with independence, personal freedom and self-determination in numerology and 200 has associations with duality. In clock numerology this is an angel number with the meaning of a ball is ruled by love which is significant for Moist in that he was saved by an "angel", ie. Vetenari and he in turn saves Owlswick Jenkins "by an angel".
Page 196 - Ponder Stibbens directs Hex to fold the cabinet. Hex is the Unseen University's computer.
Page 199 - Adora Belle Dearheart suggests that the Golem foot in the Cabinet belongs to the Golem Trust and she should take it with her. This is very reminiscent of the debate in Roundworld museums about their aboriginal artifacts being returned to their rightful owners and that human remains be returned and buried.
Page 202 -203 - The discussion between Moist and Adora regarding the golems sexuality reflects the current debate regarding gender in the Roundworld.
Page 203 - When Aimsbury is making dinner for Moist and Adora he serves her minced collops. While this sounds like it should be a dish made with offal or other 'undesirable' animal parts like the other dishes he has made, in fact 'collops' simply means meat and traditionally refers to bacon. Scottish collops for example use either thin slices or minced meat of either beef, lamb or venison, combined with onion, salt, pepper and suet, then stewed, baked or roasted with optional flavourings according to the meat used. It is traditionally served garnished with thin toast and mashed potato.
Page 205 - "those fish that swim along side sharks, making themselves useful so they don't get eaten" are called remoras.
Page 206 - "the story about Um says that it was destroyed in a flood". The flood-myth motif occurs in many cultures throughout the Roundworld from the Mesopotamian flood stories, manvantara-sandhya in Hinduism, the Gun-Yu in Chinese mythology, Deucalion and Pyrrha in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative, Bergelmir in Norse mythology, the flood during the time of Nuh (Noah) of Qur'an, the arrival of the first inhabitants of Ireland with Cessair in Irish mythology, in parts of Polynesia such as Hawaii, the lore of the K'iche' and Maya peoples in Mesoamerica, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe in North America as well as most of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, the Muisca and Cañari Confederation in South America, Africa, and some Aboriginal tribes in Australia.
Page 207 - Pratchett draws consistent parallels with the emancipation of slaves with his references to "Freehold golems" who buy their freedom and then work to buy the freedom of their fellow golems. Like the black slaves in the Americas, golems are known for their singing.
Page 208 - Moist says, "if you don't think of a fifty-foot-high killer golem first, someone else will". This reasoning was the common line in the arms race during the cold war to justify nuclear proliferation and is the standard military line to justify such abhorrent military research as chemical weapons and bacteriological warfare. Toward the end of the novel Pratchett returns to this theme when he talks about the concept of "Pre-emptive defence", another cold war jargon type line used to justify first strike nuclear war.
Page 209 - '"Gold!' said Moist, but his voice was leaden."' Pratchett is making a neat tie in to alchemists and turning lead into gold.
Page 211 onward - The scene involving the rebranding of necromancy as Post-Mortem Communications resonates with the Roundworld's various marketing agencies and spin doctors turning politically unacceptable activities into something less offensive sounding even though the activity hasn't changed. Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide is one such euphemism and there are many others. The description of the ceremony resonates with many books, movies and TV shows.
Page 214 - The play "Tis a Pity She's an Instructor in Unarmed Combat" is an obvious reference to the play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (original spelling: 'Tis Pitty Shee's a Who[o]re), which is a tragedy written by John Ford and first performed between 1629 and 1633. Once again Pratchett deliberately plays with marital and martial as in marital status (a whore) and martial arts.
Page 214 - Sir Andrew Fartswell (farts well) likely takes his name from Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, cheek being another name for buttocks and ague implying fever, both being scattalogical names. Pratchett uses a clever variation on this in other novels talking about going "Bursar poo" (ape shit - since the Bursar is an orangatan).
Page 216 - When Bent is wrestling with his conscience, he refers to the "voice of the mask". This hints at his hidden past as a clown since clowns always hide their true self behind a mask or grease paint. It also resonates with Pratchett's earlier work Maskerade which was a play on The Phantom of the Opera.
Page 217 - The Cantata and Fugue for those who have trouble with the pedals is an obvious reference to the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor written by Johann Sebastian Bach. The word 'cantata' is the past tense of 'sung' in Italian (cantare - to sing) so Pratchett is playing with the Bach reference, ridiculing the idea of a piece of music meant to be sung which could clearly have nothing to do with pedals on an organ.
Page 218 - Professor Flead is described with "little strings of saliva vibrat(ing) in his mouth like the web of a very old spider". This is very reminiscent of the poem by Mary Howitt (1799–1888), published in 1828, The Spider and the Fly, in which the spider leads the fly to her doom with, "'Will you walk into my parlour' said the spider to the fly." The poem, while appearing to be about a spider and a fly is clearly about seduction, an older rake and a young virgin. It also brings to mind the various other spider and fly references Pratchett has used throughout the novel.
Page 214 and 221 - The unusual font indicating the archaic language of Formal Golem uses the Enochian alphabet created by the 16th Century mathematician and astronomer John Dee. (Himself a Discworld character in The Science of Discworld II: the Globe, where he hosts visiting Wizards from' Discworld In Elizabethan London, Dee lived at Mortlake, which is also a location in Ankh-Morpork)). It uses letter by letter substitution to create the desired effect. The Formal Golem language is designated as appropriate to a near-contemporary of Umnian's multi-meaninged tongue. The characters for r/m, i/y, c/k, and u/v/w are effectively indistinguishable, (much like English before i/j and u/v became separate letters) and the s and e are quite similar. Translated, Adora Belle says "I can speak formal Golem." In Formal Golem, Flead first says, "You make eternity bearable!" and then asks "Why do you care about golems? They have no passionate parts!"
Page 221 - The whole concept of the Golems, particularly the ones that are buried with the golem horses has a strong connection to the famous Terracotta Army that consisted of thousands of incredibly well-crafted soldiers, horses, and chariots made of terracotta, a type of clay. They were part of the funerary arrangements for the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who established the first dynasty of a unified China. His name now refers to the dynasty he established, which in turn has been appropriated to refer to the country and people in general (Qin is pronounced as "chin").
Page 221 - Flead comments, "I don't know what it is about stepped pyramids that brings out the worst in a god" a reference by Pratchett to the human sacrifices by the Mayans and Aztecs in Roundworld.
Page 223 - The "ancient monsters who can see a second sun getting bigger in the sky" are an obvious reference to the dinosaurs when earth was struck by a comet.
Page 224 - When Moist refers to Flead as a 300 year old letch, Adora replies, "I think you mean lych". Pratchett puns on the words as a lych is an old English word for a corpse in contrast to a letch or letcher (a person obsessed with sex, usually in an unpleasant way). Flead is also referred to as being "dead at the moment". This concept is also used in Going Postal in connection with Professor Goitre, another Unseen University alumni. It ties in with Douglas Adams' series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where the rock star Hotblack DeSiato takes a year off dead for tax purposes and also remind the reader of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which the plague victim says, "I'm not dead yet!", whereupon he is whacked on the head.
Page 225 - The Goddess Anoia has gone from being a minor goddess in charge of stuck drawers to being in line for the position of goddess of lost causes. This is all thanks to Moist in Going Postal. Her temple with its kitchen implements stuck on the wall is very reminiscent of places like Lourdes and St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec where those "cured" have left their crutches and other items they "no longer need" behind. Since followers and belief have great power in Discworld, presumably she has attained this thanks to aiding Moist and having a statue placed on the roof of the Post Office.
Pge 226 -The God of the Month Club is an obvious reference to all the various marketing schemes like the Book of the Month club, etc.
Page 228 - Owlswick Jenkins mind has been replaced with a turnip by Igor so that he is now has a well-balanced personality and no longer is beset with anxiety, fears and the demons of paranoia. In effect Igor has turned him into a vegetable (since obviously a turnip is a vegetable). Pratchett is taking a good shot at the psychiatric profession which in the middle of the last century performed many lobotomies on people to "cure" their neuroses. A lobotomy, or leucotomy, was a form of psychosurgery, a neurosurgical treatment of a mental disorder that involves severing connections in the brain's prefrontal cortex. The purpose of the operation was to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders, and it was recognized that this was accomplished at the expense of a person's personality and intellect. The originator of the procedure, Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz, shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine of 1949 for the "discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses", and in recent years there have been calls for that award to be rescinded because of the terrible negative effects the procedure had. Rosemary Kennedy, sister of President John F. Kennedy, who underwent a lobotomy in 1941 that left her incapacitated and institutionalized for the rest of her life is probably the most famous victim.
Page 230 - "If you can't stand the heat, get off the pot" says a senior clerk. This is a mixed metaphor. The two expressions being combined are "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" and "Shit or get off the pot". This scene is a complex play on the metaphor. Pratchett expands on the original second metaphor when he talks about the Human Resources manager at a rival bank doing a time and motion study on how long people spend in the privy (clearly not shitting and getting off the pot fast enough). Shitting is also called a bowel movement and movement is another word for motion (time and motion).Moist initially makes the same mistake as William de Worde and others and assumes that just because Nobby Nobbs requires proof of species, he's the "Watch Werewolf". He misses the obvious clue when Angua squeaks Mr. Fusspots rubber bone, over and over absentmindedly, when he is being delivered to Moist. However, by the end of the novel, when he sees how Mr. Fusspot reacts to Angua with Nobby in the same room, he knows the truth.
Page 231 - As readers of other Pratchett Ankh-Morpork based novels know, Mrs. Cakes Boarding House houses an interesting collection of the unusual, from werewolfs to the undead to vampires. So it is not surprising that Mr. Bent should live here and his residence here adds to the suspicion that he is a vampire.
Page 232 - Igor explains how the Glooper can change the economic life of the city rather than just predict it. This whole scene resonates with the "butterfly effect". In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. Initially studied in relation to weather changes, it has since been used as a broad term for any situation where a small change is supposed to be the cause of larger consequences.
Page 234 - Hubert says, "Flask 244a represents all the gold in our very own vaults, Igor. And ten tons of gold don't just get up and walk away! Eh? HAHAHAHAHA!!! This line oreshadows that something is in fact amiss in the Lavish's bank but the scene is also a play on scenes involving mad scientists in literature and film with their maniacal laughs.
Page 235 - Heretofore says, "the blade has never been drawn in anger" and "the steel of the blade was taken from the iron in the blood of a thousand men..." This is a common theme in fantasy works in literature and film as well as Asian martial arts flims and fantasy role playing games (ie. the 1980s Blood Sword series of game books). It has its roots in the inscription on the blade on many Spanish swords in the age of chivalry - "No me saques sin razon; no me enbaines sin honor", which translates to "Draw me not without reason; sheath me not without honor." There are actually websites where the authors have calculated how much human blood would be required to produce the iron in a sword's blade.
Page 236 - "the trapped souls of those who died to make the dreadful blade" continues in the previous vein, another common reference in literature and film, usually in relationship to the damned, trapped between heaven and hell, forever roaming in the afterlife.
Page 236 - "Cosmo pulled off the black glove again and looked at his hand. There seemed to be a greenish tint to his finger now, and he wondered if there was some copper in the ring's alloy. But the pin, almost red steaks moving up his arm looked very healthy." Copper turns green when exposed to the elements (called verdigris) and pink tissue is healthy, however in this case the green is caused by gangrene in the finger and the pink, almost read streaks are blood poisoning which causes red streaks to radiate from the area toward the heart, in this case up the arm.
Page 237 - the paper "which was occupied by a square filled with a lot of smaller squares, some of them containing numbers" which Drumknott cals a Jikan no Muda. is clearly a Suduko style numbers puzzle. Jikan no muda means "waste of time" in Japanese.
Page 239 - The door to Mrs. Cakes Boarding house is opened by "the hairiest woman Moist had ever seen". Mrs. Cake's daughter Ludmila is part werewolf.
Page 238 - Vetinari says and then stops without finishing the sentence, 'Old Lavish was frightened of him. I'm sure. He said he thought Bent was a ....." This adds to the foreshadowing that Mr. Bent is a vampire (a red herring in fact).
Page 238 - The "tinkers and fortune tellers" of Roundworld traditionally were often Gypsies and traveled in caravans so the image of accountants doing the same is Pratchett's way of mocking the idea - placing a supposedly respectable profession in a position associated with a supposedly disreputable one.
Page 240 - Throughout the novel, Moist believes that Mr. Bent's deep dark secret is that he is a vampire, not a clown as is revealed at the end of the book. When Moist goes to his lodgings he comments that among the "signs" Mr. Bent is a compulsive counter, a reference to the Count on Sesame Street who is a vampire and is used for teaching numbers. It would only be natural that an accountant who likes to count would be a vampire. A great piece of redirection.
Page 240 - Pratchett pokes fun at the politically correct jargon of today when Moist starts to say that most of the boarders at Mrs. Cakes are undead. Ludmilla cuts him off to say that they are "differently alive".
Page 241 - Moist proposes Differently normal instead of strange in the same vein.
Page 241 - Moist notes on who is normal, "Well, someone whose fingernails don't visibly extend when they're annoyed would be a definite candidate" More evidence that Ludmilla is part werewolf.
Page 241 - Moist's approach to what to do if threatened (in this case Mr. Bent being threatened with exposure that he is a vampire) is to call their bluff, foreshadowing his approach when Mr. Cribbins threatens to expose his past as a confidence man.
Page 242 - "Mr Bent had kept quiet about his past, but that was hardly a pitchforking matter" is a reference to the standard fate of mad scientists like Dr. Frankenstein when the mob attacks them with burning torches and pitchforks. Pratchett uses this Dr. Frankenstein type reference in other sections of Making Money and many of his other novels, especially those which involve Igors.
Page 247 - Moist and Adora's conversation regarding eating the sheep's head resonates with the debate between vegetarians and omnivores but also links to Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Milliways, the Restaurant at the end of the universe where the beef dinner discusses which parts of him Arthur Dent should eat.
Page 247 - The scene where Moist and Adora briefly believe Gladys the Golem has killed Mr. Fusspot is based on the "bunny boiler" scene from Fatal Attraction.
Page 252 - "Now that's what I call entertainment" is a reference to the 1974 movie, That's Entertainment and all the similar lines it spawned over the years. The movie was not concerned with sado-masochism, however.
Page 254 - Adora says, "Tell me that was just an old rubber bone" when Mr. Fusspot walks by with his rubber penis (dildo). Bone and boner being two slang terms for a penis. And the fact that the "bone" is "rubber" expands on the sexual innuendo since the "bone" is clearly not stiff.
Page 255 - "For some reason Moist felt it (the sheep) should have a saxophone and a little black beret." (hopefully someone out there will know the source of this image - I have seen it many times but can't place it while writing this - Rob Bennie)
Page 258 - Lady Waggon's Book of Household Management is a takeoff on Isabelle Beeton's 1861 Book of Household Management. The book was aimed at a generation of middle-class women who, for the first time in history, had not learned household skills from their mothers. New codes of gentility meant that young women in the 1850s were more likely to know how to play the piano and converse in French than they were to bake bread or make their own clothes. Increased mobility also meant that young housewives frequently lived in different towns or cities from their families. With no-one to turn to, they needed a book to help them navigate the first tricky years of married life. Lady Deirdre Waggon's book fills the same role for Gladys the Golem who is learning about being a woman in a domestic situation.
Page 262 - Moist is still under the belief that Nobby Nobbs is the werewolf when the Watch talks to Mr. Fusspot to confirm Moist's whereabouts. He is soon to find otherwise.
Page 265 - The saying "old necromancers never die" clearly doesn't need a second part to it. The origin is the Roundworld catchphrase, "Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away". It is made from a stanza from the British Army soldiers' folklore song Old Soldiers Never Die which was in itself a parody of the gospel song Kind Hearts can never die. It has been parodied ad infinitum. One of the better parodies being Richard Nixon in a 1980 interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20. He said, "Old politicians usually die, but they never fade away."
Page 266 - The Ancient and Orthodox Potato Church and its followers and the Plain Potato Church poke fun at the various schisms in Christianity from the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, to the Church of England and the Methodists and other strict Protestant sects, to the Protestants and the fundamentalist Baptists, with a bit of Amish and Shakers thrown into the mix as well. The whole church concept with the potato at its centre pokes fun at the way religions are formed; something misconstrued becoming a symbol. There are strong Life of Brian overtones here in the worship of Brian's sandal in that Monty Python movie.
Page 268 - Mr Fusspot's courtship of Angua von Überwald is reminiscent of the battery-powered dog toys beloved of British shopping centres, which yap, somersault and repeat, although none of them come with the "new toy" delicately described by Captain Carrot as "a wind-up clockwork item of an intimate nature". It is at this point that Moist clues in and realizes the identity of the Watch werewolf.
Page 270 - Igor askes Hubert, "How many fingerth am I holding up?" to which Hubert replies, "Thirteen." Of course, being an Igor, this would be the right answer; an Igor always has spare parts, just in case.
Page 270 - Moist comments that there is no god of banking. In Roundworld the nearest is the Roman God Saturn who was the god of wealth, among other things. The Patron Saint of Bankers is the Apostle, Saint Matthew.
Page 271 - Pratchett pokes fun at the health food industry and its naturopathic medicines. Splot "contained herbs and all natural ingredients. But belladonna was a herb and arsenic was natural". There are some Roundworld tea-like drinks made using parts of a tree. Sassafras root was made into a very popular drink which has since been determined to be very dangerous and even fatal if drunk to excess. Cinnamon bark is also used in tea.
Page 276 - Saccrista bends down to pat Mr. Fusspot and recoils saying, "What has he got in his -?" Clearly Mr. Fusspot is still carrying his "wind-up clockwork item of an intimate nature."
Page 282 - The four thousand golems which Adora discovers underground and brings to Ankh-Morpork are a clear reference to the terracotta warriors in Xi'an, China; a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
Page 282 - "There was a large axe buried in the big table" This line resonates with such stories as King Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone. Axes are also a popular weapon in medieval sagas as well as fantasy games. It also links to the expression referring to "making peace" to bury the hatchet. And Vetinari does have an axe to grind with Moist as well as the Lavishes.
Page 282 - In the line, "Those who desire war, prepare for war' Pratchett pokes fun at the expression, "Si vis pacem, para bellum"which is a Latin adage translated as "If you want peace, prepare for war" or often loosely translated as "Those who desire peace prepare for war". It is adapted from a statement found in Book 3 of Latin author Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus's tract De Re Militari (4th or 5th century), although the idea which it conveys also appears in earlier works such as Plato's Nomoi (Laws) and the Chinese Shi Ji. The phrase is used to affirm that one of the most effective means of ensuring peace is for a nation to always be armed and ready to defend itself. Clearly based on the rest of the scene, Pratchett has little faith in Discworld or Roundworld mankind avoiding war when armed to the teeth.
Page 283 - The footnote , "who was being guarded from whom was not, at this point, either certain or germane." Pratchett uses variations on this line in many of his novels, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? or Who guards the guards.
Page 283 - The debate regarding the use of the golems to either take over the world or as a defensive system resonates very strongly with he Cold War rhetoric between the USSR and the USA with both sides increasing their nuclear armaments as a "defensive deterrent". The same argument was used by the USA in its Star Wars defence system. Moist reiterates this on Page 335 in his discussions with Vetinari.
Page 286 - Hubert Turvey's explantion of why the golems should not be used as a "tool" or free labour source strikes at the heart of the neo-conservative free market economic theory prevalent in today's Roundworld. Eventually outsourcing to the lowest wage earner (or slave) results in no excess spending money for the masses to purchase the things the manufacturers are making and the system collapses. We in Roundworld are coming to that realization but are slow to learn.
Page 291 - Flead asks if the Pink PussyCat Club is "smutty" and if "they show ... their ankles". Cleary the Pink PussyCat Club is based on Hugh Hefner's Playboy Bunnies and clubs. It also links to the KitKat Club in Berlin and reminds one of the Pink Panther of Inspector Clouseau fame. Flead is certainly showing his age though because smutty was a common expression in the 1920s as were women being considered risque for showing a bit of ankle.
Page 291 - They're very big on not touching in that place (the Pink PussyCat Club). Most strip clubs have strict rules about the patrons keeping their hands to themselves during the performances and Flead, being dead and incorporal will have no trouble abiding by this rule.
Page 293 - Pratchett and Vetinari's view of government committees and their usefulness mirrors the views of most taxpayer but unfortunately not most Roundworld governments.
Page 295 - "the Lacre arm knife of tools" is clearly a reference to the Roundworld's Swiss army knife.
Page 300 - The students insorcize Professor Flead so that he spends his life in the Pink PussyCat Club. Insorcize is clearly the oppositie of exorcize which refers to the expulsion or attempted expulsion of a supposed evil spirit from a person or place. So Pratchett's word means to place the evil spirit (Flead) in a person or place (the Pink PussyCat Club).
Page 316 and following - When Mavolio Bent, the head cashier appears at Moist's trial and begins throwing pies around at the various Lavishes, it becomes obvious that his deep dark secret isn't that he is a vampire but that he is a clown and has run away from the circus to join the bank, which is a reversal of the old canard about staid upright figures giving it all up to join the circus. It also resonates with Malvolio in Shakespeare's Twelth Night. Both names have obvious connections to the the French world for evil or bad - Mal. Bent is a slang term for someone who has been bought and is crooked. As an interesting parallel, British Prime Minister, John Major came from a family of trapeze artists and he was jokingly referred to as the only person who ran away from the circus to become an accountant. Perhaps Pratchett was modelling his character of Mavolio Bent on this. When he uses the ladder to snare the Lavishes, Pratchett is drawing on the silent film tradition used by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops as well as the common clowning practice of using ladders as props in the circus.
Page 334 - Vetinari says to Moist, "- and you tell us the secret and, best of all, you live" Vetinari is putting less than subtle pressure on Moist to explain the secret of the Umnian golems. "Tell us" could refer to the fact Adora Belle also wants to know. However. In Freemasonry, a higher-level Initiation involves the candidate being symbolically tortured by pitiless creatures who continually demand "Tell us the secret!" If the Candidate withstands the torture, his tormentors turn to the Grand Master and regretfully say things like "I vexed his inner soul and spirit most greatly, Master, but he remained mute". To which the Master shakes his head regretfully, and orders the candidate to be killed and buried. Who is then interred in a closed coffin and left to stew for a few hours. After which he is symbolically reborn into the Light as a higher-level Mason and a new person... killed and resurrected. Offered an Angel, perhaps. (Robert Anton Wilson uses this as a theme in one of the Illuminatus! fantasy novels.) Pratchett uses the Mason initiation idea in the previous Moist von Lipwig novel Going Postal when Moist is inducted into the Post Office.
Page 335 - "If you don't think of not using fifty-foot-high killer golems first, someon else will." A variation on this theme was used throughout the Cold War by the Hawks in the US military to rationalize first strike nuclear weapons. See note on Page 283.
Page 336 - Significantly, Mr. Fusspot is taken over by Vetinari at the end of the novel. The city has in fact gained control of the bank (ie Chairman) even though Vetinari has said at the outset that he was not going to nationalize the banks.
Page 337 - "Quia Ego Sic Dico, I think" does in fact mean what Moist says it does. It is Latin for "Because I say so." Pratchett often uses nonsense Latin in Discworld, which may explain why Moist adds the "I think" challenging the reader to look up the translation.
Page 339 - Heretofore buys a ticket for Quirm to make his escape but Vetinari knows hew will also have bought one for Genua. This is a standard ploy in spy novels and movies, to redirect the pursuer. Too obvious to fool Vetinari.
Page 339 - Vetinari asks Drumknot if the Times is showing Mr. Fusspot with anything in his mouth, a clear reference to Mr. Fusspot's new chew toy. The Times of Ankh-Morpork, like its namesake, the Times of London reflect a more conservative view than other newspapers in Roundworld like the Daily Mirror or Sun with its topless women on page 3.
Page 343 - "be careful what you wear because its a whitewash wedding" Pratchett is playing on the old clown gag where clowns engage in a fight of throwing buckets of white paint on each other and then "throw" another out into the audience that contains confetti. A white wedding is one in which the bride wears white, traditionally indicating that the bride is a virgin (likely in the case of Miss Drapes). Finally, to whitewash something means to cover it up or disguise it - appropriate given that Mr. Bent has been in disguise throughout the novel - hiding the fact that he is a former clown.
Page 345 - The scene where Herbert talks about putting the gold back with Igor has its parallels in Roundworld's TV and movie horror genre with the evil laugh, the insane orders, Igor obeying the evil orders of the mad scientist,
Page 349 - Cosmo is in the psychiatric ward with all the other insane people who think they and they alone are the real Vetinari. The parallel in Roundworld movies and fiction is with Napoleon.
In The Truth, Mr. Tuttle Scrope is put up as the replacement Patrician for Vetinari. He runs a shop that sells Leatherwork, "... and rubber work... and feathers... and whips... and... little jiggly things" and was, presumably, the supplier for Sir Joshua Lavish in Making Money, who had the cabinet full of such supplies.
The clue to the crossword in the Times is "Shaken players shift the load (nine letters)". The answer is to shake up a nine letter word for players (Orchestra) and make something that shifts a load (Cart horse).
Promotional Items in the UK Hardcover 1st Edition
Some High Street booksellers have additional exclusive promotional material glued under the inside of the dust jacket:
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